Three Lions place in the top-10 individually at Quail Valley

by: MATTHEW SHERMAN - Amanda Elich, Katie Fillion, Chloe Barnes, Kirbi Havemann, Kristin Elich and Sarah Archuleta wrapped up another strong season with a second-place finish in state at Quail Valley in Banks on Tuesday. The West Linn girls golf team had one of its better performances of the season at the state tournament at Quail Valley but it wasn't quite enough to overcome an inspired Sheldon squad for the state title.

The Lions improved by 23 strokes from Day 1 to Day 2, ultimately finishing in second place by 17 strokes to the Irish.

The Lions had three individuals place in the top 10, led by Sarah Archuleta's seventh place showing.

Archuleta had a good start to the tournament on a windy Monday. She birdied her opening hole and also the 10th hole while shooting a 77.

Scoring opportunities improved immensely on the second day and Archuletta had only three holes where she didn't score par or better, improving to a round of 75.

The biggest improvement from Day 1 to Day 2 went to freshman Amanda Elich. Elich had a solid opening day with a pair of birdies but one rough hole on the front nine hurt her en route to an 83.

But Elich was one of the best golfers on the course on Tuesday. After a double-bogey on the second hole, Elich played the remainder of her round at one-under par.

“On the first day I wasn't hitting the ball straight and had trouble finding the fairway. Today, after about the 12th hole, I knew things were working,” Elich said.

When she tapped in for par on the 18th green, she put her hand over her mouth in excitement, having fired her low round of the season with a 73.

“I was just so proud that I was able to shoot that score at a tournament that really mattered,” Elich said.

The front nine proved to be a sticking point for the Lions in the tournament. Sheldon shot 10 strokes better on the front nine that the Lions did on Monday and nine strokes better on Tuesday, accounting for the entire deficit between the teams.

“We just had a few loose holes. Ultimately, I was thrilled with how hard we worked all season and you have to hand it to Sheldon. Winning the state title shouldn't come easily and they went out and earned it,” coach Bob Turnquist said.

Elich's sister Kristin also made a big leap on Tuesday. After an 82 on Monday, Kristin Elich had three birdies on Tuesday and shot even par on the back nine while posting a round of 74.

Both Elich sisters finished with identical scores and finished in a tie for 10th place.

Kirbi Havemann also improved on the second day of the tournament, going from a 90 to an 87.

Her second day was highlighted by an impressive birdie on the par-3 16th hole.

Katie Fillion and Chloe Barnes also each played a round at state and shot solid round of 95 and 87 respectively.

The Lions did nearly everything they could have to try and make up the 14-stroke difference on the Irish on Tuesday, tying their best team score of the season.

However, Sheldon also lowered its score on Tuesday and its depth earned it the state title.

West Linn should be reloaded next season and one of the favorites to vie for the title again.

The Lions only lose Havemann off of the varsity squad this year and she will go on to play college golf at George Fox University.

West Linn will also get three talented current eighth graders joining the program.

“We just need to be a little deeper. The girls are already talking about next February,” Turnquist said.

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